Monday, October 24, 2011

The Serp Conundrum

So.  Do I continue to serp Derrett-style, with my off-arm coming up to cue the jump (turning shoulders back toward the serp-jump as I'm moving past it) or do I incorporate a Mecklenburg style, keeping my body straighter, and using the near-arm to encourage Riff to take that middle obstacle?    The old back says:  "Do NOT twist me!" so it's become a conundrum in my brain.  


Do we practice both methods?   We've used the Derrett method almost exclusively.  Riff is pretty darn good when he's on my left.  It's that twist to the right that really bites me...and I've noticed he's not as good serping when he's on my right.  He has a tendency to run by the jump entirely.  Does he know I'm hurting?   Or is my cue too late?  We've tried the Mecklenburg method a couple of times.  At first he was great - then he seemed to get confused, so I stopped...  

....  ....


.... ....

Having been told by my doctor that it could be another six months (damn!) before I'm ready to RUN (and twist)...I'm tempted to bring some Mecklenburg back into the mix.  Can I do it without confusing my young dog?  I don't want to teach him anything I won't be using for years to come.  Will I use it?  (We could really need it, someday.  And I'm a big believer in the "whatever works" long as it doesn't confuse my dog...)

Argh!  What should I do???  Train both methods?   Can I pull it off without messing up something else?
Run all courses without serping for the next six months?  AND without running??
Give up agility for a while, and take Riff to sheep?   [ooooof....that makes my addicted-to-agility genes wince...]   

I feel like an Occupy protestor, trying to decide what to put on my sign. 

"Decide already!  Then....move...smooth and steady as you can!  Let's go!"


Tori Self said...

I think they're both essentially the same thing - if you don't put your off arm up you're still going to have to twist to cue the dog to come into you. How much you'll have to twist depends on the severity of the serp angle, whether you use an outside arm or just open your shoulders to the dog. I've found that with more severe angles it is more awkward not to use an outside arm. With smaller angles it's easier to get away with no outside arm.

Just my take on it!

Celeste said...

Very helpful - thanks much, Tori! Will keep using the outside arm (and shoulders) for the more severe angles and try to get Riff used to less twist for the "easier" angles. Will concentrate on really looking at that jump. (Riff is well ahead of me on most courses - he's going to be a great Gambler some day! May need to train directionals...) Thanks again! :-)

corgi2bc said...

I'm speaking for Riff here:
Sheeeeep!!!!! :-)

Why not get addicted to two things?!

Celeste said...

oooooo....great idea.

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